The time of the crumbs

Publish date 03-05-2021

by Gian Mario Ricciardi


I find myself, like Mario Rigoni Stern, picking up the crumbs. He was looking for pieces of wood for the stove, I for the fireplace. It's cold in this crazy winter of sun, snow, heat and ice.

Then, as now, around there was a desert of uncertainty. He hoped that, after the frost, the snow, the cold, another radiant dawn would rise. We, many years later, do the same. I am reminded of the missing of the Armir in Russia; I remember the epic images of Doctor Zhivago with ice around them, a pencil, residues of woolen gloves (manufle in Piedmontese). And I look around in this month which, historically, heralded the near rebirth, the sun, the heat, the spring, the primroses, the flowers.

I see people more and more nervous about the pandemic that does not pass, people who do not know, tomorrow, how to pay their electricity, gas, water and waste bills. I see more and more signs on closed shops: business for sale, local sale.

It is an infinite sadness that I take on any morning, before eight o'clock: mothers with children by the hand who try to reach nursery schools, kindergartens, elementary schools, middle schools. None of them, and of us, no longer understand if they are in the days of yellow, orange, red, white. They are, as in times of war, forced attempts to save life and an apparent normality, then among spies, bombs, Nazi-fascists, now among swabs, masks, gloves and a lot of hope.

But it is there that our resistance must come to the surface, light years away, from the algorithms of politics, from the mastery of the building, from deceptions. It is there, I tell myself, that the strength of the traditions and examples of our fathers and grandparents comes to light. As Dante said: "Here your nobility will appear".

Our nobility are: the mothers and fathers who, perhaps with the Magone in their hearts because the office or the factory closes, accompany the children to school, protecting them and reciting a prayer with them; the crowd of people who, defying the virus, get on public transport and go, if possible, to work; the thousands of workers who getting up in the morning, when it is still night for a long time, guarantee us light, water, heat, life; the doctors and nurses who, putting their lives at risk, are in hospital for treatment, vaccines, rays, reservations, acceptance; the politicians, the real ones, who, risking on their own, sign documents and deeds that will allow us to get out of the nightmare; the nuns of the monasteries who come down in the middle of the night to fix their gaze on the Lord.

There is no room for resignation. I see so many faces while, between a traffic light and an obligation to turn, I "cut" the city: from corso Bramante to corso Massimo d'Azeglio, to piazza Borgo Dora. Close to the Valentino, two women cross the street pushing supermarket trolleys with everything and two dogs inside.

I wonder? Where did they spend the night? Where are they going? Caritas no longer knows where to turn to look for food and solve truly complex situations. I, a guaranteed one as Massimo Cacciari says, continue towards my goals, but the life that revolves around us has been totally undermined by Covid. It is true, it has clipped our social life, relationships, relationships, encounters. Indeed, it is destroying us "inside" because every little malaise becomes suspicion of Covid. But we are warm, and the others? Let's ask ourselves, sometime and collect the crumbs. Crumbs of everything: sobriety, humanity, generosity, frankness, vaccine crumbs because this is beyond the sickly clashes over who bought, who didn't and which, the European Central, Germany, the books on the finished pandemic .

The vaccine arrives, with the delays, the mistakes, the follies of politics, but the crumbs, sooner or later, come to us too. Here are the crumbs, like those of the rich man. They are for us and for others. Everyone, no one excluded, no one discarded. Collect them. Bread is made with crumbs: daily bread. And today's is good tomorrow too.

NP Febbraio 2020

Gian Mario Ricciardi


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